Sara-Gibo now miles and miles ahead

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

It is becoming clearer and clearer each day. The Movement for Sara Duterte Alliance of Hugpong is now the palpable and irreversible front-runner. The NP led by the Villars are with her. The Lakas incumbents, led by GMA, are behind her. The PMP led by Erap is all the way for her. The PRP of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has joined her. These are all added to the PDP-Laban Alfonso Cusi mainstream group spearheading her campaign. The Hugpong and the federal movements are with Sara too. Goodbye Pacman, farewell Bongbong, and what now, Madam Leni?

Mayor Sara keeps on denying. Of course, that is the proper thing to do. As long as one isn’t a candidate, under the law, she cannot be legally charged with premature campaigning. That kind of stance was the same style used by her dad in 2015. Nagpa dili-dili. Nag lubi-lubi aron lugiton. We already know that tactic. We know that deep in her heart, she has already made up her mind. That’s why she’s always going around, talking to other mayors and governors. Action speaks louder than words. Her lips keep on saying No but her actions are always saying go. She is always being seen with Gibo and to cover up, they just pretended that Gibo was getting vaccinated in Davao. The people may be silly at times, but they are actually smart enough to discern the truth. And Sara is way ahead of the opposition.

The opposition has no money, logistics, or organization. 1Sambayan is a ragtag, quick-fix and fly-by-night coming together of disgruntled septuagenarians. Well, I am an old man too, but I am sorry to say, with due respect, that the people behind this rushed coalition is a group of retirees who are getting large pensions from public funds taken from our taxes. They are joined by elite academicians and nerds who do not have the feel of the masses. They have no connections with the working class. The LP is weak with no strong LGU support. Their leaders are all elitists, capitalists, and a herd of contented cows, who just want to push their personal and business agenda, Their members mostly belong to the bourgeoisie class, who do not understand the pain and suffering of the people.

The group of Mayor Sara has a strong grassroots foundation. Who are the political titans behind Sara? Erap, no matter what you say, has a solid following among the masses. He still has about five to seven million voters loyal to him. In 2010, he got 9.5 million votes and was second only to PNoy. He got double the votes of Manny Villar, who had truckloads of money, and his loyal voters were more than double those of Gibo, who was then backed by GMA. For Sara, all these political behemoths are now united behind her; GMA, Gibo, Erap, Manny Villar, and even the rather unexpected and unlikely supporter the Peoples' reforms Party of the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. Her husband explained that they opted to support Sara because she manifests many attributes that are similar to the behavior of the late fighting senadora from Iloilo.

Who is behind the opposition? Pangilinan? Recto? Lacson? Sotto? Hontiveros? Trillanes? The LP president, Kiko Pangilinan has no tangible achievements in the Senate. He has been there for so long but we do not know what his advocacy really is. What is his expertise? And what will the opposition do to balance the fight in 2022? Can these people match the organization, and the grassroots network of Sara? Gibo is smart this time. He knows the strongest group to align with. But in fairness to him, he is also very competent, very decent, and respectable. And his alliance with Sara has given the team a geographical balance. His expertise in national defense in the economy and in flying airplanes (Gibo can do something to address the air assets of the air force which has been hounded by a series of mishaps that killed many servicemen) can give a lot of strengthening into the new coalition.

If this was a boxing match (paging Pacman), the administration has already defeated the challenger, whoever he or she will be, even before the first round. If the opposition doesn’t unite and field too many bets, like what happened in 2010 and 2016, then, all I can say is goodbye to all of them. The showdown has ended even before it began. And that’s how the cookie crumbles.

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